U.K. Call Firm Flies Staff To New Zealand To Cover Overnight Shift

Keeping the employees happy might be just as important as keeping the customer happy.

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A view of Auckland City from the top of Mt Eden on Sunday 26 September 2004, as Auckland experiences a nice clear day.

A Welsh call center is using a novel solution to provide its customers with 24-hour service. Rather than hiring more workers or switching current staff to the overnight shift, U.K.-based Moneypenny is transporting some of its employees to a different time zone in Auckland, New Zealand, to man the phones.

The company, which services more than 8 million calls a year for 6,000 clients, came up with the idea after asking its employees if they would be willing to work night shifts or relocate offices, the BBC reports. The staff preferred the latter and Moneypenny listened. The company has since flown a trial group of four employees to New Zealand, where they take over the phone lines at 8:00 p.m. GMT (8 a.m. in New Zealand). They work in shifts of four days on and four days off in order to travel around the region. Moneypenny plans to send a group every four to six months, allowing every employee a chance to live and work abroad.

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Moneypenny’s Rachel Clacher, who set up the company with her brother, came up with the idea while visiting Australia on sabbatical. Clacher and management said by having employees work during daylight hours translates to better customer service and a more positive attitude at work. “By working on the other side of the world we’re now able to offer a truly 24 hour first-rate service, with bright, chirpy and wide-awake people,” she told the BBC of Moneypenny’s new office.

Keeping the employees happy might be just as important as keeping the customer happy.

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2 comments
KikiChrome
KikiChrome like.author.displayName 1 Like

It would've been a lot cheaper to just hire New Zealanders. We do speak English, you know. Some of us even speak Welsh.

ialsoagree
ialsoagree like.author.displayName 1 Like

I think given the choice between changing shifts, or being unemployed because your job was outsourced would make a lot of people in the UK begrungingly choose to change their shift.

Rather than having potentially unhappy employees - and rather than outsourcing jobs - the company decided to simply fly the workers to another country for about 6 months. Sure it might be a little more expensive, but it will hopefully result in better customer service, the employees will be grateful for the chance to visit another country without paying to fly there, and the jobs don't get outsourced!